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Prokopec is the Dodger pitcher of April

4-30-01

Luke Prokopec would not be in Los Angeles this April, but injuries to Kevin Brown and Andy Ashby have allowed Prokopec to start three major league games.  In his starts he has lasted at least six innings.  The composure of this 23-year-old Australian has been impressive.  Prokopec's performances in April should be recognized, so he is the Dodger pitcher of the month.

When Kevin Brown injured his Achilles' tendon, the Dodgers needed a starter for one game.  Unlike many major league teams, the Dodgers did not have to search for long to find a replacement.  Though Prokopec had pitched well in the spring, he was slated to start the season at triple-A Las Vegas.  However, when Brown was injured, Prokopec had his chance.

On April 6 Prokopec started against the San Francisco Giants.  He pitched seven and two-thirds innings allowing a run.  He struck out seven while allowing four hits and walking none.  After the game the Dodgers said thank you and promptly demoted Prokopec to triple-A.  Unlike most rookies, Prokopec did not complain about the demotion though he did not like it.

Prokopec did not know Andy Ashby was experiencing elbow pain.  On April 18 the Dodgers placed him on the disabled list and recalled Prokopec. Prokopec started against the San Diego Padres and limited them two runs in six innings.  This past Friday he limited the Philadelphia Phillies to three runs in seven innings.

Prokopec has not walked a batter yet this season, but he has struck out seventeen batters.  Though Andy Ashby will come off the disabled list soon, there is a question whether the Dodgers will demote Luke Prokopec or Eric Gagne who has struggled this season.

© Sarah D. Morris

 

 

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